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  • Writer's pictureTom

Sorare World Cup Special - Part 1

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

As you undoubtedly already know, this World Cup will be an atypical one. First of all, it'll be played in the winter, meaning it will cause major disruptions to the domestic league competitions. The Premier League will take a break after the weekend of November 12/13 and will resume fixtures again on Boxing Day, the 26th of December.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup, will be the first one ever to be held in the Middle East.

It will also become the most controversial World Cup ever, with questions about the way the rich Gulf state won the right to hold it (fraud & bribes), how it has been treating workers building the stadiums (new world slavery) and whether it will be welcoming to LGBTQIA+ fans. By the way, if they keep adding letters, we'll have a full alphabet in a few months. It’s also going to be a strange one for us, the fans, who are so used to cheering their teams on during the summer months on squares/gardens and parks all around the country. We'll be cheering in pubs, living rooms, or inside big screen locations.

When does the World Cup start?

It is just under 100 days before the World Cup in Qatar will start. The exact starting date very recently changed so Qatar could play the opening game. The date has changed because the emir of Qatar wants to play the opening game and they want to play in the evening so they can have big fireworks... Chaos ensues as thousands of fans needed to rebook their flight and their already overbooked hotels.

Qatar will also start with 14 players on the field instead of the normal 11... that's sarcasm.

An ideal time to start forming an SO5 team to beat the inflated prices before the World Cup gets hyped in the media. What tactic to use for assembling a squad is totally up to you. But beware, if you are unlucky, your player could only play three group matches and go back home which might not be worth the investment. In my opinion, a stack would be the way to go, and hope they don't get eliminated fast. If you are still in the market for a goalkeeper, we did the research so you don't have to, let this summary help you.

Let us first start with teams that are not present: Failed to qualify: Italy, Nigeria, Chile, Egypt, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, ...

Disqualified: Russia.

This means we won't be seeing the following players: Donnarumma (PSG), Jorginho (Chelsea), Golovin (Monaco), Zlatan (AC Milan), Haaland (Man City), Chukwueze (Villareal), Alaba (Real Madrid), Mo Salah (Liverpool), Barella (Inter), Oblak (Atletico), Robin Olsen (Aston Villa), and all the 'sons from Iceland.


The Group stage:

Group A: Qatar, Ecuador, Senegal, The Netherlands.

Qatar's football strategy is fairly simple, "naturalize as many Brazilians as we can". A joke, of course,... they naturalize just about anyone.

The reigning Asian champions are the only team making its debut on the world stage of football. With ex-Barcelona youth coach Felix Sanchez, Qatar has developed an attack-minded playing style. If they don't change the rules again, Qatar won't survive the group stage. Their keeper Saad Al Sheeb (Al Sadd) does not have a minted card. I do however value the home advantage in this kind of competition so Qatar might surprise us after all.

The Netherlands is back on its way to glory with a new generation of (Ajax) talents. Yet there is a goalkeeper situation brewing. Will Louis van Gaal choose Cillessen (NEC) or Flekken (Freiburg). Cilissen recently transferred to NEC with the World Cup in his mind. He seems the first pick, but who knows what going on in Van Gaal's head? Remember the Cillessen and Tim Krul (Norwich) substitution a few years back for the penalty shootout?

Although Ecuador has some interesting players like Enner Valencia (Fenerbahçe) and Estupinan (Villareal), they won't survive the group stage. Their goalkeeper and captain Alexander Domínguez (LDU Quito) has no cards minted.

Senegal is the runner-up in last year's Africa Cup, they lost against Egypt and have world-class players on every line of the field. Koulibaly (Chelsea), Diallo (PSG), Gueye (PSG) and Mané (Bayern Munchen) to name a few. Edouard Mendy (Chelsea) is the first goalkeeper for Senegal and with Gomis (Rennes) they have a very decent backup.

Our prediction:

David: 1. Senegal, 2. The Netherlands, 3. Ecuador, 4. Qatar.

Tom: 1. The Netherlands, 2. Senegal, 3. Ecuador, 4. Qatar.

Group B: England, Iran, USA, Wales.

Also, don't forget our other Sorare blog posts in this World Cup series:

Part 3: Groups E & F

Part 4: Groups G & H

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